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Re: (In)flammable (WAS: Early Conlang Archives)

From:Laurie Gerholz <milo@...>
Date:Saturday, March 13, 1999, 0:00
Padraic Brown wrote:
> > On Thu, 11 Mar 1999, FFlores wrote: > > > > > The inflammable=fammable issue is one of those curious > > "contradictions" of the English language that I've heard of. > > The other one is "burn down" = (more or less) "burn up" (I > > know they have different connotations, but the meaning is > > actually the same!) > > Hm. I'm not sure the meanings are really the same. To me, "burn down" > means to destroy (usually a structure) by combustion; while the latter, > "burn up" means to completely destroy anything by combustion. I can burn > down a house, but not a book; I can burn up a book but not, generally > speaking, a house because the fire dept. gets to the scene too soon. :) >
I'll add one more connotation. When we've laid a fire in the fireplace at our house it's generally for atmosphere and entertainment value rather than real practical heating. So we don't let the fire burn overnight. And at the end of the evening we let the fire "burn down", when we stop feeding it with fresh wood. Laurie